The Appellate Group

BASF Corp. v. Labor Comm’n

BASF Corp. v. Labor Comm’n, 2023 UT App 108 (Orme, J.)

Employment Law

Employee filed a workers’ compensation claim that was disputed by his employer. A medical panel agreed with Employee that his ailments were caused by his employment. The employer requested review from the Labor Commission Appeals Board. The Appeals Board sent the case back the ALJ with instructions to empanel a second medical panel to decide further clarification on causation. The employer appealed a second time. The Appeals Board affirmed. The employer appealed the Board’s decision. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding:

  • The Appeals Board did not abuse its discretion in directing the ALJ to appoint a second medical panel to determine the causation of Employee’s condition.
  • The Appeals Board did not err when it concluded, in reliance on the opinion of the second medical panel, that Employee’s condition was caused by an industrial accident and occupational exposure.
  • Practice Tip: The Court emphasized that the “novel v. non-novel” test given in State v. Rimmasch, 775 P.2d 388, for establishing a scientific consensus is no longer the standard required. Instead, courts should rely on the plain language of rule 702 of the Utah Rules of Evidence.

Read the full court opinion